Report: Antawn Jamison agrees to one-year deal with Clippers

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UPDATE: 5:49 p.m.: It’s official now, as multiple reports confirm that Jamison has agreed to a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum salary (around $1.4 million) to play for the Clippers.

Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that Memphis and Chicago were also interested in adding Jamison, but that his preference all along was to stay in Los Angeles.

“Just happy to be a Clipper and contend for a championship,” Jamison told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles.

Aug. 25, 11:00 p.m.: Antawn Jamison played for the Lakers last season, and like seemingly so many before him, he’s looking to now get on with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Matt Barnes, Ronny Turiaf, Caron Butler, and Lamar Odom were all Clippers last season who were with the Lakers at one time or another, and it appears that Jamison is ready to be added to that increasingly long list.

From Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles:

The Los Angeles Clippers are closing in on a deal with veteran forward Antawn Jamison, a source close to the situation told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Sunday.

Jamison, 37, played for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, averaging 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds. He has been unabashed in his desire to play for a championship contender in the final years of a 15-year career in which he has averaged 18.8 points and 7.6 rebounds. He will likely surpass 20,000 career points early next season.

The acquisition of another veteran who can score to shore up the end of the Clippers’ bench is interesting, but not as interesting as what it may mean for another of the team’s reported free agent targets.

Odom was reportedly the preferred option over Jamison in ClipperLand, but with the recent allegations of drug use and family issues, Jamison is apparently the more stable option.

The story has gotten worse where Odom is concerned over the past day or so, and with no comment from him or anyone in his camp refuting the disturbing news, it isn’t a surprise that the Clippers are turning elsewhere to add a veteran presence to round out the roster.

Victor Oladipo’s practice dunk better than anything he – or maybe anyone – did in dunk contest (video)

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Victor Oladipo has grown into far more than just a dunker.

In fact, in Saturday’s dunk contest, he didn’t look like a dunker at all.

The Pacers star missed all three attempts of his first dunk, and a Black Panther mask was by far the biggest draw of his second. Oladipo was eliminated after the first round.

Maybe Dennis Smith Jr. wasn’t the only eliminated dunker who left something in his bag. This Oladipo dunk – 180 degrees, throwing ball off the backboard with his left hand while in mid-air, dunking with his right hand – while preparing in Los Angeles was awesome.

Larry Nance Jr. had the contest’s best dunk. This would have rivaled it.

Pelicans owner Tom Benson hospitalized with flu symptoms

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METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owner Tom Benson has been hospitalized with flu symptoms.

A statement released Wednesday by the NFL and NBA clubs says their 90-year-old owner is resting comfortably at Ochsner Medical Center, a hospital which also serves as a major sponsor and which owns naming rights to the teams’ training headquarters.

Benson has owned the New Orleans Saints since 1985 and bought the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012.

In recent years, Benson has overhauled his estate plan so that his third wife, Gayle, would be first in line to inherit control of the two major professional franchises.

 

Report: Seattle hosting Kings-Warriors preseason game

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Kevin Durant spent his rookie season in Seattle, before the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. He has said Seattle fans deserved to see him grow up in the NBA after supporting his promising start.

They’ll get their chance.

Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:

The Kings and Golden State Warriors have scheduled a preseason game next season in Seattle, according to multiple league sources.

The Oct. 6 meeting between Northern California teams will be the first NBA game in the Key Arena since the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season and became the Thunder.

This game will be loaded with storylines. Not only Durant, but the Kings considered moving to Seattle a few years ago. And of course, the return of NBA basketball to Seattle.

At some point, Seattle will get its own team again. For now, this preseason game creates intrigue there.

Report: Kawhi Leonard cleared medically, seeking second opinion

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he’d be surprised if Kawhi Leonard played again this season, a stark reversal from just a month ago. Back then, even while announcing Leonard was out indefinitely with a quad injury, the San Antonio coach said Leonard wouldn’t miss the rest of the season.

What’s going on?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

After spending 10 days before the All-Star break in New York consulting with a specialist to gather a second opinion on his right quad injury, All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard bears the burden of determining when he’s prepared to play again, sources told ESPN.

Leonard has been medically cleared to return from the right quad tendinopathy injury, but since shutting down a nine-game return to the Spurs that ended Jan. 13, he has elected against returning to the active roster, sources said.

The uncertainty surrounding this season — and Leonard’s future which could include free agency in the summer of 2019 — has inspired a palpable stress around the organization, league sources said.

At first glance, this sounds like Derrick Rose five years ago. Even after he was cleared to play following a torn ACL, the then-Bulls star remained mysterious about when he’d suit up. His confidence in his physical abilities seemed to be a major issue, and he was never the same player since (suffering more leg injuries).

But the Spurs famously favor resting players to preserve long-term health. They seem unlikely to rush back Leonard. They might even sit players who want to play more often. And Leonard isn’t Rose.

Still, it’s clear something is amiss in San Antonio. Maybe not amiss enough to end Leonard’s tenure there, but the longer this lingers, the more time for tension to percolate.